DCM and Boardwalk Empire

Three of the original UCB- Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Besser.

Three of the original UCB- Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Besser.

Well, here’s the post I was going to write last time. I am still sad about the loss of my favorite teacher, Mr. Post. His memorial mass was today, and I wish I could have been there for it. He is going to be missed, like none other.

Anyway, I want to look on the bright side of life! I recently got to be a apart of the Del Close Marathon (which is associated with The Upright Citizens Brigade) and took many, many workshops. Some were great, some were meh. The one that blew my mind (and rightly so) was with Matt Besser (one of the founders of UCB). I’ll start off that it’s kinda weird sitting in front of someone who is kinda put up on a pedestal. I’m still new to this who improv thing, but of course Matt is kind of a big deal. Anyway, turns out the people in my class are pretty much a let down because even though we read the UCB book, we weren’t as familiar with it as Besser was- obviously. I also think he was disappointed that the majority of us didn’t bring the book. To those who brought it, he asked them to, “open up your hymnal to page 244″. That was perhaps the only humor we got from him. So, even though he probably thought that the school that he started was probably going down the drain since we hadn’t thoroughly read the book, I’m sure he thought that we were good students. Maybe. Oh, he also plugged his podcast (it’s free!) Improv4humans almost every 5 minutes. (JK. But it was often. It’s good, y’all!) Something that we learned, and what I’ve heard many times before, is DON’T EVER SUGGEST ANY FOOD FOR A SUGGESTION. Someone threw out the word mango (I think) and Besser was like, “NO FOODS!!!!!!!!” I can understand that because for the most part; people probably don’t have stories associated with foods. The second part that was absolutely the cherry topper to DCM was going to both ASSSSCAT shows. I am so very glad that I bought tickets for both, because Amy Poehler (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) was only performing in the first one. In case you didn’t know, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, Amy Poehler was also one of the founders of UCB. Y’all, I had a heart attack. To see one of my favorite comedians live in person made my night. My life! She’s just hilarious in person. Also, another favorite of mine, Horatio Sanz performed with the UCB- for both shows. That guy… he’s a character. I won’t go into full detail as to why, but if you are dying to know why I think he’s a “character”, feel free to message me, or something.

Second part to the post: BOARDWALK EMPIRE! I kinda wanted to keep it on the down low, but I guess the cat’s out of the bag. I won’t give away too many details, but all I can say is that there are flashbacks in the final season and that I had to wear a corset and wanted to die every time. I made new friends and re-connected with old ones, which made working every day great.

Next on the agenda: working on a Scorsese pilot. Basically, I know as much about it as anyone else does that can google “Scorsese new rock n’ roll pilot”. I’m sure it will be great because not only is he attached to it, Mick Jagger is too. I’m guessing that if this is picked up, it will take the place of Boardwalk Empire.

That’s all I’ve got for now! My improv team- Medusa- has a show tomorrow night and I’m pretty excited.

Night

-R

The Post Man

To the right of me is the amazing Mr. Post.

To the right of me (I’m in purple) is the amazing Mr. Post.

Yesterday I had planed on writing a post on the awesome time I had working on Boardwalk Empire and the past week with the Del Close Marathon, but something happened today that changed my mind. One of my mentors and one of the best teachers I had at Bishop Lynch High School passed away. His name- Mr. Post. He taught AP American Gov. along with AP Comparative Gov., worked with the Mock Trial Team, and of course, Golf. I was fortunate enough to have him for my AP Gov teacher, both American and Comparative. This was my senior year. I also was very fortunate enough to spend my senior year spring break with him as a chaperone on an Eastern European tour- which I could easily say, apart from my study abroad, was one of the best experiences I had in Europe. I would consider him, along with many other students, a Mr. Feeny of sorts. Filled with advice, compassion, and passion for everything that he did.

I’ve always been into politics- even since middle school. Was I totally informed at that time? Nah. But I stilled enjoyed it. Mr. Post put the nail in the coffin for my love of politics. Let me be clear though, we had totally different political leanings. He was liberal, I’m conservative. You always hear of teachers who decide that you don’t deserve a fair grade just because you don’t align with their politics (which happened to me in college!), but he was open minded. I was a small republican fish in a large democratic sea. He taught government in black and white. Okay, so every once in a while he’d show some recording of Colbert Report or whatever political satire du jour.But who cared. It was Mr. Post. When I was in his classes, it was at the beginning of the 2008 elections. Speculation already started as to who was running for President for each party, and we kept up each class. His classes weren’t your typical play by play we-have-to-keep-with-the-syllabus type teacher. It was more like, what’s going on today, what did you learn, and what can you take away from that. I can’t remember or recall any negative thought from his classes. I do remember the awesome butterfly chairs he had. I sat in the same one each semester.  I remember him having pictures on his wall of all of his government classes he had (or was it each spring break trip he went on? both? I have horrible memory). I remember almost most of all, his Postie Awards. These were given out to students at the end of the semester. I won a tie with another classmate for most conservative, but also, (99% of you readers will probably hate me for this award, but sorry not sorry) The Biggest Hillary Hater. I still have that “award” hanging up in my bedroom back home in Texas.

I remember, that even though he wasn’t a Bush fan at the time, that he gave props to Bush because after the attacks of 9/11, we hadn’t had a terrorist attack since (up to May 2008). I remember this one time on of my classmates, Sami was stomping all over a yard sign (was it a yard sign?) of a person running for the Presidential run off. Post obviously got pretty mad. I remember in one of our final classes he asked us to portray us as we saw him; how he sat, how he acted. It was pretty funny for us to act it out. I have many more memories from that class, but that could easily be written into a novel.

Mr. Post defined my senior year. So much so that every time that I came home from college summer or Christmas break, I would swing by BL to say hello to him. My last memory of him was running into him and Mr. McKenzie at a restaurant in Casa Linda. What a treat it was to see him after what was a really bad day.

One thing that always stuck with me was him saying that we should always question our authorities. (Authorities meaning the government, in case some of you were unsure.) I am more into politics than I ever was, and I owe it all 100% to him.

I am so very fortunate to have had him as a teacher. His legacy will surely live on.

Here’s to you, Mr. Post.

-R

He Was A Friend of Mine

An homage to my Dad:

In light of Father’s Day, I figured I’d write a post about my Dad. This past year has seen a passing of way too many of my friend’s fathers. We are young and it just breaks my heart. It really put things in perspective for me.

In all honesty, I didn’t grow up a “daddy’s girl”. My mom was the one who drove me around to piano, violin, gymnastics, dance, school, etc.; my Dad was always busy with work. Mom was the dictator, Dad just dictated what Mom said (LOL. But true. “Go ask your mother!”). But without a doubt, I am my father’s daughter; his “little girl”.

Dad! Smile! You have cake in your hand. Apparently this is at a wedding.

Dad! Smile! You have cake in your hand! Apparently this is at a wedding- not too thrilled.

As far as I can remember, the first two songs I ever knew in my life were “He Was A Friend of Mine” by Bob Dylan and “Get Off of My Cloud” by The Rolling Stones. At the time it didn’t really seem too much to me- I thought those were just songs they were playing on the radio then (heh).  I don’t think he realized how much of that impression made on me, because I am a diehard classic rock fan. Of course those aren’t the only two performers he had playing all of the time. He had the obvious Beatles, a little Stevie Ray Vaughn, Neil Young (and probably CSN&Y but I can’t remember), The Doors, The Beach Boys, Leon Russell… I could go on and on. When I was a kid he had this story that he would tell me all of the time, and because of it repeat it all of the time, but it’s totally worth it: In 1969, London, Hyde Park, he saw THE ROLLING STONES! He was 16. But y’all- 1969. The HAY DAY of Hippiedom. He told me about how he snuck away from his mom and two sisters and how Hell’s Angels were there; the excitement over the song “Sympathy for the Devil”. Of course this does no justice to my Dad’s story telling, but man that has got to be one of the coolest stories ever. Needless to say, I’m jealous.

A trait that I did get from my Dad (not any math skills. ugh) was my musical ability. He played the french horn/trumpet in HS and into college band at OSU, but apparently the band director there wasn’t too friendly so my dad decided it was not for him anymore. Also, he was in choir. (LOL). I can’t really talk much because I was in choir middle school through high school. He also played Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol” too when he was a kid. Now, I’m guessing he isn’t too thrilled that I’m writing this for the whole internet to see, but chances are he won’t even see this blog.

Since all of the passing of many friend’s fathers, it made me realize that I need to tell my Dad that I love him more. I usually talk to my Mom every day (only child syndrome) but have always just talked to my Dad fewer times. He’s always busy with work. Life is too short now for me not to tell my Dad every day that I love him.

So, Happy Father’s Day, Pops. I love you so very much.

-R

Don’t Stop Believin’

Last shot of Tony

Last shot of Tony

Well y’all, it took my close to a year to finally watch the 6 seasons of The Sopranos. For a while I kept saying that Homeland was the best tv show ever, but The Sopranos just took that spot. *****POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SOPRANOS****** As I clicked the final episode, “Made in America”, I realized that now I would have some sort of void in my life. This was the end. Sadly, the finale was ruined by my parents in 2007. I remember as soon as they had the close up of Tony in the diner while “Don’t Stop Believin” was playing, it went BLACK. And my mom screamed as if the cable cut out! Of course I come running into my living room to figure out why she was yelling! Turns out the finale just ended like that. Black out. Tony looks up at someone and then it was over. 10 seconds of excruciating pain thinking that something had to have gone wrong with the cable. Then the credits roll… That was it. So, even though I knew the ending of The Sopranos, I was still shocked 100%. Me: WHAT?!? THAT’S THE ENDING!?? We question, did Tony actually get shot? Most people have the theory that he did, others say that David Chase (the director) copped out. I like to think of it as that we’ll just never know. I originally started this series after the passing of James Gandolfini. I was told a million times that this was the best tv show ever, but I finally figured I’d start it in memory of Mr. Gandolfini. And man, he was a brilliant actor. It’s sad to see that he passed so early. I’d also like to add that it’s one of the best openings in a tv series.

So that’s it. Short post. Now I know that everyone says I need to watch Breaking Bad, but I tried y’all. I couldn’t get into it. Maybe some day down the line I’ll try and watch it again.

-R

Not A Good Bye, Just A See You Later

This past Sunday was the end of my 201 class at UCB (sad face). Our two fabulous teams- Mahoney and Duane & Busters did a pretty good job I think. Our graduation performance this time was at UCBeast instead of Chelsea- which was kinda sad, BUT that won’t be my last time on that stage. Another sort of sad thing is that I won’t be able to see the shows for free anymore since I’m not a student (another sad face). BUTTTTTT, the Del Close Marathon is coming up (which happens ever summer at UCB). I really, would go into detail who Del Close is, but I’ll just be nice and let you click Del Close’s name. So with this coming up, there will be a lot of workshops (!!!!!!). I’m actually sitting in Starbucks right now so I can have really good wifi connection when the classes go up (around 3-5). I don’t have good internet in my apartment and luckily Starbucks is only 2 streets away. Chances are that the time you read this, I will have already hopefully signed up for some workshops *crosses fingers*.

In other news… I don’t really have any. Except for starting a web series and then begin shooting for a REALLY awesome TV show in mid-June. More news to come on that…

Happy Wednesday y’all!

-R

Affirmations, or What You Will

Holy cow y’all!! I haven’t written a blog entry since May 4th! Life has been absolutely crazy busy. Before I ran off to Florida, I started my 201 class at UCB. Let me tell you, it’s some hard stuff. But, I’m loving every minute of it. I’ve started doing some work with a practice group and this past Sunday I did B.Y.O.T. (Bring Your Own Team) at the UCBeast… anddddddd I thought it was meh, but everyone else thought it went fine. You’re always your own worst critic. Also recently, I got to do some filming for Girls! It was down in Brooklyn (obvs). Oh! Going back to UCB- I will attempt to take a 101 Sketch Class. I’m afraid I will have no idea what I’m doing. If you’re not sure what sketch is, it’s essentially writing for sketches (or what you think of skits) that you would see on SNL. In my mind I’m like, “Hey that would be totally easy because so many times the writing is horrible.” But then I’m like, “Nope. I have no idea what I’m doing.” Now this sounds even more hilarious because some friends and I are contemplating doing a web series (LOL) and I’m still like, “LOL, I only write blogs.” So, we’ll see how that turns out…

Now I’m taking a 180 and talking about why my title is called Affirmations, Or What You Will. I’ve really tried to hop back on the dating train. What. A. Mess. For example, the last two dates were… creepy. I’m crossing my fingers that hopefully this person never runs across this blog. Anyway, we’ll call him The Texas Wannabe. Why you ask? He’s obsessed with Texas. He’s a Yank but spent some time living in Houston-ICK! And then fell in love with Texas. I mean who wouldn’t? So, The Texas Wannabe thought to ask me on a date because, well, I’m from Texas. He seemed like a nice guy from his profile so I was like, “Yeah, sure.” He decides to meet up at wine bar in TriBeCa that was super cute, and literally within oh, I don’t know, 5 minutes in the conversation he “joked” about us eloping and moving to Austin- since I said I would move back to Texas someday, and probably in Austin. I did the all, haha? Because, y’all, that’s kinda weird. He proceeds to ask if I would be able to do what I do now (acting/improv) in Austin- which I could- but it’s nothing like it is in NYC. A little creepy, but he seemed like a nice guy. He also said I was the perfect girl for him, but I really just couldn’t take the stage 5 clinger. Later that night, (said in a Carrie Bradshaw voice) I got to thinking, “Why can’t we just find decent guy in NYC that isn’t a creep, but is nice, funny, and has a good job?” It seems that a plethora of my friends are getting married at the age of 23/24/25- which I guess seems normal, but my friends and I up here are that age and nowhere near that stage. (Except for one friend. She has a great boyfriend and I know they’ll probably end up getting married. They are a great pair.) My friends and I have decided that everything here is a +5 years. Meaning, your friends that are getting married at 25 means that you’ll probably get married at, oh, I don’t know, 30 or 31. And that’s just a maybe. To affirm that I’m totally right (which I think I am. Hah.), I put in a Sex and the City dvd just to affirm that we’re not alone. I’ve watched the show plenty of times, but it’s just that I wanted the affirmation. And I’m pretty sure I got it. Time is different here in NYC. While your friends back down south or the midwest are getting married, we’re constantly thinking about ourselves. We seem to come first in this city. And perhaps it’s not a bad thing. We should enjoy the time that we’re single in one of the best cities in the world.

I’ll leave y’all with a quote from Sex and the City:

“You’re never alone in New York. It’s the perfect place to be single. The city is your date.”

-R

Hell’s Itchin’ and Gone Girl

Ahhhhhh, what an enjoyable few days I had outside of NYC. That’s right my friends, I finally made a trip that was below the Mason Dixon. That place would be Bonita Springs, FL (between Naples and Ft. Meyers). I realize that most people don’t consider Florida to be “the South”, but I’ll say it wasn’t New York by any means. I am quite lucky to have been able to take a short trip down to FL- the weather in NYC was getting me down. But something I have learned, and have re-learned again, that you should always, always, ALWAYS wear sunscreen. Especially if you’re pale and don’t even tan- just the whole burn and then back to pale, or just all around pale from being safe and wearing sunscreen. Well, I got sunburned. Even with re-applying the SPF every hour the sun still got to me. The first two days were just “painful”, and now I’m itching like I got bit by a million mosquitos. Last time I got burned was when I was in California after not even applying sunscreen after a day trip to Santa Cruz. The night I returned home I couldn’t even sleep because I itched so bad. Finally after hours of trying to figure out how to somehow “cure” the miserable itch, I found out that peppermint oil works like magic. So what did I do when I returned today to NYC? Ran as fast as I could to Whole Foods to get some of that oil. On the bright side of things, my face didn’t burn. Aside from being stupid and not applying sunscreen more often, I had an amazing time in FL. The weather was perfect and the food was great. There’s nothing better than getting fresh fish. Also, it had been about 2 years since I went to a Publix and I forgot how amazing that grocery store is. That sounds incredibly dumb since I do live in NYC with amazing grocery stores, but Publix has just about everything. OH- and of course, being in the company of great friends made for a fantastic trip. Andddd….

I finally read “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. I really don’t know how to describe it. I’m conflicted on how I feel about the book. It’s definitely good, but it’s just so messed up. I don’t want to go into details, but if you want to hop onto the bandwagon, I suggest you read it before the film comes out- they change the ending.

Now I must get back into the groove of things in NYC…

-R

Tales of a BG Actor

So readers, I decided to make up for lost time that I’d write another post pretty quickly. If you couldn’t tell by my facebook, I’ve been doing some background work for some TV shows, and I’ve learned a lot of things. Now I shall make a list about the good, the bad, and the UGLY.

I’ll start with The Good: 

  1. Meeting new people- that really goes without saying.
  2. Meeting new people who have greater knowledge about film and are willing to give out advice to help you out.
  3. Good food on set! Blue Bloods= win.
  4. Principal actors who are friendly. Looking at you, Donnie Wahlberg. Many thanks to the guy who buys a ton of tacos for everyone to enjoy before our lunch break.
  5. Overtime. This could be a good/bad thing. Good because you get paid more; bad because you get worn easily. The Blacklist=1, Rachel=0.
  6. Nice people at wardrobe. It’s usually a hit or miss.
  7. Getting your hair ‘did on set.
  8. Knowing that you’re just 3 vouchers away from your SAG/AFTRA card.
  9. Forgot to mention that sometimes you run into people who went to your high school that you never met before because you graduated many years apart. Small world.
  10. Nice directors.

The Bad: 

  1. Rude actors on set. Not talking about principals here. They’re few and far between, but I’ve met some that are real divas. Get a life.
  2. Rude PAs. Sometimes hard to come by, but there are some that treat you like dirt, SAG or not.
  3. Getting treated like dirt by being non-union.
  4. Wardrobe yelling at you because you didn’t bring enough clothes. Sometimes you just can’t win.
  5. Knowing that you need 3 vouchers for your SAG/AFTRA card and you never luck out.
  6. Call times at 6:00 in the AM that are all the way out in Green Point.

The Ugly:

  1. I’ve mentioned that Nina Dobrev was quite the diva at the amfAR event that I worked in Cannes, but there is one particular diva that is maybe a B-list actor at best but acts like Robert De Niro. I’m not even sure if the crew or director likes them, either. Bless their hearts.

As you can see, the good out weighs the bad and the ugly. But these are just some things that I’ve learned so far…

-R

T-Town Never Down

Well readers, it’s been quite some time since I’ve written a post. I’ve just been a busy bee between my cousin visiting from La La Land, working on Louie, and my 201 improv class at UCB!! Let me just say that I have a really impressive class and our teacher is just SO CUTE (and super helpful!). The reason I chose today to finally write a post is because it was 3 years ago today that the EF-4 tornado hit Tuscaloosa and changed the lives of many. It’s something that I remember clearly, just like 9/11. I rarely recount life changing stories, but in case I miss some details later in my life about that day, April 27th 2011, I thought I’d share with y’all how that day went down…

A few days before April 27th, we were already given a heads up that the next couple of days could be filled with really bad weather. Like most people in the South, it really wasn’t taken seriously. There are always plenty of tornado warnings every spring that turn into nothing- so April 27th really wasn’t a “big deal” to a lot of people. Everyone was still watching the radar to see if we’d be getting that bad weather. I remember looking earlier in the day that it looked like the storm would just barely miss us and go north. During my French class (which I hated with a passion), we could tell that a storm was brewing. Let me just say that growing up in Texas I’ve always taken tornados seriously. After the class ended I had my friend Caroline drive me back to my apartment so I could pick up my meds and go back to campus to one of the safest buildings on campus, Rowand Johnson Hall- also  known as where every theatre class was and a handful of English classes and once used as a fallout shelter. As I’m walking up the hill to get into the building, the sirens start going off. I start running as fast as I can to get into the building, while some other people outside are just walking without a care in the world. I get down into the basement/costume shop where no one else is to be found and I’m just panicking because I really didn’t want to be there by myself. I finally found myself among some other students that were in English classes and we were lined up in the hallway. At that point in time we still had power and some people had their laptops open listening to the weather to see what was going on. Not too long after some other class came running in, drenched from the rain. Apparently the building over started to flood and they ran to the nearest building- which was ours. Maybe about 10 minutes after that the power went out. There was some panicking (especially those from the north who had never experienced something like that before) and wondering what was going on. It was then we started to hear the wind pick up and couldn’t imagine what was going on. Some girl was lucky enough to still have wifi somehow or another and we were gathered around watching the weatherman. I was still texting my mom and telling her that I was okay and I was with a lot of other people. Everything started to get a little crazy when the weatherman said everyone should duck and cover, and good amount of us ran into the nearest girls bathroom and waited out the storm. I don’t remember time wise how much time had passed before we finally heard over the intercom that all was safe and we could come out of the building. We found out that the tornado didn’t touch the campus AT ALL. We also figured that maybe there wasn’t a lot of damage and school would be back and running the day after that. After that I had a girl that I’d met in the in the building drive me back to my apartment, and I was so grateful that it was still standing when she dropped me off. I got in touch with my friend Michelle who lived in the apartment complex right next to mine. Somehow or another we found out that all of the damage was down 15th Street, and we decided to go there to see what it was like. We get there and see that everything was flattened out. Of course that wasn’t the only place that was destroyed in the path of the tornado, but it was one of the first places we heard. A huge crowd was gathered around to see the damage, and it was unbelievable. I have never been through a tornado before- actually when I was a kid I wanted to be a tornado chaser. I’ll pass on that now. But after a huge crowd was gathering we were told that everyone needed to head back home because it just wasn’t safe around there with the power lines down and debris everywhere. Michelle and I went back home and decided to hang out together that night since we didn’t have any power. The next day there still wasn’t any power. We decided to go to one of my favorite places for lunch in the town over that wasn’t hit- CHIK-FIL-A!! Everyone else decided to go there as well, it seemed. After I’m chowing down on my nuggets I get a text message from one of my sorority sisters that she was going to her boyfriend’s place about an hour away and asked if I wanted to come since there still wasn’t power and we couldn’t use the water. I decided it was probably for the best. We later found out that the school was cancelled for the rest of the semester. People had the option of taking the finals via home or not. Within the next day my mom was on a flight to Birmingham so we could pack up and go back home to Texas for the summer. Of course right after I got home there were tornado sirens, which made me freak out because of what I just went through. Luckily nothing came of those warnings.

I just have to say how grateful I am that I’m still alive and that I survived that fateful day. As far as weather goes, everything changed for preparation the following semester. Plenty of schools got out early if there was even talk of bad weather- and people took it seriously after that day.

Here’s a video of a guy that was crazy enough to just park in our mall’s parking lot to catch video of the tornado. He is very lucky he’s alive.

Here’s to another year that we never forget that day. T-town, Never Down.

-R

 

A Hard Day’s Night

Well, I haven’t written in FOREVER. Goodness, I have no idea what to catch up on. I guess I can say that I worked on a new pilot that David Schwimmer is working on- that was awesome. Also worked on “Blue Bloods” with Donnie Wahlberg- he also bought everyone tacos. Coolest moment EVER. It was also the best set that I’ve worked on yet. The PAs were amazing and Joe the director was incredibly nice. Everyone that I’ve met working on set have been amazing. 2014 literally has started off with a bang. Tomorrow I start back up at UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade), which I’m really excited about. I love improv a whole lot, even though it’s one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever done. A few Sundays ago when I went to see ASSSSCAT at UCB, Mara Wilson aka Matilda was the monologist!! We learned that she dated the brother in “Halloween Town” and everyone (well my age) was all “AHHHHH” because we grew up to those movies. It was kinda weird to see “Matilda” in person. Then last week was my birthday- I can’t believe I’m 25. That’s really weird to say. My friends were so incredibly nice and bought my dinner at a cute little French restaurant. Afterwards we went to a cool speakeasy called Employees Only. In May I get to go to Florida with my gal pals- it was a spur of the moment idea and we got our tickets! Disclaimer: we are NOT going to Disney World. We are headed to a lovely town called Bonita Springs.

Okay, so I think that’s my life in a nut shell from the past few weeks. This year is flying by and tonight my cousin arrives from LA to visit me here in the lovely Big Apple! Hopefully more incredible things are to come.

-R